Match Summary -
Although Esteban is fielding some fine stick men most notably his corner men, at both ends ; unfortunately the result is a form of anti-synergy. That is the sum of the parts do not perform adequately together. Too many historically proven weaknesses, an ineffective half forward line leaving far too much pressure elsewhere on the field
Although there is some potential in the inside forward line they are starved of possession by the total and utter dominance of Kelly’s heroes halfback line and midfield. It’s a quiet day for the most decorated full back line in hurling; Kavanagh, Curran & Connors. There’s a lot of hurling left in this year’s competition but some media outlets are touting this configuration of 2-3-4 as the best in the business, arguably History. Stiffer tests lie ahead. It also seems inevitable that given the current trajectory James McGarry will continue the pursuit of his first All Star award beyond this season.
It summed up the afternoon adequately when McGarry and the 2 umpires chatted openly and exchanged jokes as they peacefully watched the last 14 minutes of the game ultimately unfold as a backs and forwards session at their opposite end.
Speaking of the other End, Ronan Curran battered and bruised from his last encounter with Seamie Pender(Curran doesn’t like a physical opponent) just wilts under the relentless physical pressure and an impotent midfield pairing offering no support which leaves the halfback line bewildered and exposed. Tony Browne a ball player given the mission of tracking Carey under such conditions was akin to watching a bizarre Japanese Gameshow where the contestant berates his own genatalia to the amusement of the crowd.
Whilst the Estebans corner backs have their merit the damn inevitably bursts. A massive goal haul on the day attributed to some degree to the interchange between Kelly and Carey at the edge of the square. It was as good as a white flag that when in the 56th minute The Rock fell for a third time as a Carey pirouette left him struggling for both footing and dignity: Unlike the great J.C. Easter Sunday, O’ Sullivan did not rise again.
As much however as Kelly’s Heroes front 8 were relentlessly effective, a chunk of Esteban s woes were self-inflicted. Their choice goalkeeper whose name escapes me, incredulously insisted on batting or trying to control what would be considered even the most routine of catching opportunities. Instead of opting to secure possession immediately with the paw on no less than four occasions placid ball was batted directly to on running forwards to simply sweep the ball to the net. O Farrell and Clancy the benefactors, both raising green flags on the double.